Clark Atlanta fires coach, more on Black College HOF

Editor’s Note: The AJC reported Wednesday that ousted Clark Atlanta coach Ted Bahhur and his attorney plan to take legal action against the university.

Three weeks ago, Clark Atlanta had an unbeaten record and was excited about its chances against perennial SIAC power Tuskegee.

Now, the Panthers are in the midst of a three-game losing streak, including a blowout loss to Kentucky State during homecoming last weekend which proved to be the last game for coach Ted Bahhur. The school announced Bahhur’s firing Tuesday, replacing him on an interim basis with assistant head coach Keith Higdon.

In a story posted on ajc.com,
Clark Atlanta president Carlton E. Brown said in a statement that “we want to thank [interim head coach Keith] Higdon for taking the helm of our football program during this challenging time.”

Clark Atlanta got off to a fast start with wins over Fort Valley and Lane and a forfeit win over Stillman. The losing streak began with a 31-21 loss at Tuskegee Sept. 19 followed by a pair of home losses to Miles and Kentucky State in which Clark was outscored 37-12.

The Panthers are off this week and have four games remaining in the season, including an Oct. 17 home game against SIAC frontrunner Albany State and the Oct. 24 contest against neighborhood rival Morehouse on the Maroon Tigers’  homecoming.

MORE HALL OF FAME DISCUSSION

The announcement of the establishment of a Black College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta generated a wide range of responses Tuesday. In addition, the discussion of who should be in the Hall of Fame was interesting as well.

Here’s a sampling of what was said:

“This will be a great addition to a great city. It will bring some well deserved attention to a segment of the game that has been overshadowed for far too long. Way to go Atlanta!”

“Does the current college football hall of fame not include HBCU players/coaches? There should be one building so that everyone can visit to see the heroes from all facets of college football under one roof.”

“You can not build a HBCU Hall of Fame without including all of the great players from the state of Mississippi. And, of course…you should start with the likes of Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Willie Totten, Steve McNair …….”

It should be called the Tennessee State University/HBCU Hall of Fame. No other HBCU has contributed as much consistently as Tennessee State University.

So, what do you think? Do you have an opinion on either topic? View all of the responses on the previous blog by clicking here and then join in the conversation by responding below.

25 comments Add your comment

Falcons Minority Owner

October 7th, 2009
12:24 pm

Assuming it will include coaches, no list is complete without Eddie Robinson.

PatrickT

October 7th, 2009
2:01 pm

Do you remember a time when HBCU’s chose schools like Miles And Kentucky State for “homecoming sacrificial lambs” ? Boy, how times change. And in a totally unrelated subject, Southern has the best band in the country.

newkid

October 7th, 2009
2:21 pm

Why such a low aim when the target should be placed much higher? Instead of JUST a Black College Football HOF, why not a Black College Sports HOF? There are tons of poignant stories to be told about the athletic programs and athletes at these colleges during a period when those with darker skin here in the US weren’t allowed to compete in intercollegiate sports on playing surfaces simultaneously occupied by those of European descent. Rather than needleesly parsing these stories via separate venues, why not tell the whole story (in all its shame and glory) under one roof?

And while we’re telling the stories of the athletes at these institutions, demonstrate fortitude by including a wing to tell the stories of the amateur athletes of the native peoples of this land.

A good vision, but don’t unduly constrain it. Let the sun shine on ALL these sports stories for all to see and hear.

Doug

October 7th, 2009
7:35 pm

Kudos to newkid. It is sad to think about all the talented QB that attended HBCUEnter your comments here

Doug

October 7th, 2009
7:40 pm

that were being shopped as wide receivers to the NFL after playing their college careers as a QB. Thumbs up to the HOF.Enter your comments here

Doug

October 7th, 2009
7:42 pm

that were being shopped as wide receiver to the NFL after playing their college careers as a QB. Thumbs up to the HOF.Enter your comments here

Doug

October 7th, 2009
7:50 pm

But in the defense of the fired coach.CAU may have won more Homecoming games than Morehouse.Enter your comments here

Mrs. Z

October 8th, 2009
9:38 am

Of course Shannon Sharp must be inducted BHOF. He did attend and graduate from Savannah State then go on to earn two Super Bowl rings. One with the Denver Bronco and one with the Baltimore Ravens!

SIAC Alumn

October 8th, 2009
10:24 am

Ted Bahhur getting dismissed from Clark Atlanta is absurd. Prior to his arrival, from Tuskeegee (Black College Football’s most winningnest program), CAU was the doormat of the SIAC–a true stat game. In recent years, under the leadership of Bahhur, Clark has slowly become a dominate force in the SIAC. He has instilled a winning attitude and recruited (which is hard for any private HBCU institution, due to high tuition and low scholarship money) some quality players, four of which have made it to the NFL. Now, all of a sudden, you start winning and you say, “Oh, he is not living up to our expectation.” A bunch of mularky, is what that is. This is the most impatient society when it comes to coaching. It takes 4-8 years to build a powerhouse. This microwave panel of judges, which consist of people that know nothing about the game or what it takes to establish residual winning seasons, need to do research on how long it takes for a program to become successful. Look at programs like South Florida, Virginia Tech, Georgia Southern, etc. It took time and a transition. I don’t know coach Bahhur, now have no affiliation with his program. I played in the SIAC and I get tired of coaches that get booted because they are ‘not keeping up with the Jones.’ For those, who don’t know the SIAC is a powerhouse Div.II conference that doesn’t get it’s due dilligence. Tuskeegee, Albany State, Fort Valley and Morehouse are your typical powerhouse schools. Up-in-coming programs, however, such as Benedict (alma matter), Kentucky State (which abruptyly fired its coach too), Stillman and Miles (Former Florida A&M coach Billey Joe is at the helm) are going to be forces to be rekon with.

Tyronne Smith

October 8th, 2009
10:41 am

I guess Coach Bahhur wasn’t Black enough for Tamica Jones or that bust-out President Brown.

Shimmy

October 8th, 2009
10:44 am

On what basis is the coach now suing?

Joseph Froth

October 8th, 2009
10:55 am

I enjoyed the resurgance of the Clark Atlanta football program in recent years. I hope the Coach was not fired because he wasn’t black, although this is possible knowing the group in charge at the school. If this was the case than the communnity should call for the immediate resignation of Tamica Jones and Carlton Brown and the sponsors should withhold support from the school until there in a plausable explanation.

If you read the article, it appeard that the Coach did better than the 3 previous coach’s combined and his removal smells fishy.

Shimmy

October 8th, 2009
11:17 am

I agree that something’s up with the firing. Given recent nonsense that’s been tolerated at Clark Atlanta (re: racist memo written by professors Jennings and Boone), would it be all that shocking for an otherwise successful coach to be dismissed because of something he has no control over? Probably not.

Mr. SIAC

October 8th, 2009
12:13 pm

The CAU firing was terrible. I played for 4 different head coaches in 4 years @ Morehouse. I wish more decision-makers @ HBCUs (and the SIAC specifically) understood more about building a football program. Its definately not all about winning homecoming….the 4 yr coaching carousel @ Morehouse finally ended when we won HC in ‘99.

Buhhur had made significant improvements and had the program going in the right direction. What about the underclassmen that had a real chance to compete for rings…now they’ll be rebuilding (again) for the next couple of years.

At the end of the day the student-athletes are the biggest losers.

Spuerbowl Ring or Bust!

October 8th, 2009
4:26 pm

I’m shocked at the abrupt firing of Coach Bahhur. My nephew played ball for him a few years ago and loved him. He taught my Nephew more than football and being a winner. He empowered him with life skills and today because of Coach Bahhur he’s on his way to success. Randy and I thank you and God Bless you!

Carl

October 8th, 2009
4:30 pm

Man, if they lossed to Kentucky State at homecoming, that coach deserved to be fired. Way to keep it real Tam (LHS ‘93).

Mr. SWAC

October 8th, 2009
6:59 pm

I’m not surpise at all the dismissed action of Coach Bahhur from the AD or the President at Clark Atlanta University. I ask that coach Bahhur attorney do an investigation of the entire situation surround action of Dr. Jones and President Brown. The entire sports department headed by Dr. Jones should be ashame of itself the way they treated Coach Bahhur. The only reason why he was dismissed was because of his skin. By the way he is not WHITE, he’s from Palastein. The decision to dismiss him was truly emotional, so pay the cost of your wrong doing.

Let God’s justice be done. I wish the best for the football players that work so hard each and every day to win giving the situtation at hand. Players stay strong and focus for the remaining games.

Coach our prayers are with you and your family.

tyger

October 8th, 2009
8:07 pm

How could I forget perhaps the greatest Howard QB ever?

Jay Walker, QB, Vikings

Stiffback

October 9th, 2009
10:12 am

I hope CAU don’t get dealt with by the Taliban. Them Palastians don’t play the radio, they will ALSHULAGUBLAK ya in a second. BOOM!

SIAC alum

October 9th, 2009
11:10 am

First of all Carl, if you know SIAC football, you will know that Kentucky State is always a tough match-up for anyone. Firing a coach during the middle of the season is not keeping it real and it’s very unprofessional and unethical. Especially, when the team is 3-3. Since I can remember there hasn’t been no kinds of expectations at Clark until Bahhur got there. He turned the program around and look how they treat him. Check the facts..

Sierra

October 9th, 2009
1:46 pm

Carlton Brown has a record of not being able to work with whites. Carlton Brown can not stand it when a white does not look down and to the right while in his presence. I saw that some many times while we were at SSU. Do you all remember Coach Rigdon (white baseball) fired by Brown? Oh by the way I am an AAM.

2001 Alumni

October 10th, 2009
9:17 am

After watching last weekend’s homecoming game, preceded most games at Panther Stadium for over a decade, truthfully I was a bit relieved upon hearing of the firing of CAU’s head coach. The team seemed all over the place on Saturday and as if they lacked direction. I may be the only person with this experience, but when I looked at those guys on the field, i saw a lack of camaraderie and again, no direction. When I think of the program, I personally don’t think “oh we have non- black coach.” The coach’s race is just not at the forefront of my mind. What I do think is that we need a coach who can give us a winning season. “In his first four seasons, he paced the Panthers to a 17-26 record WHILE COACHING 18 ALL-CONFERENCE PLAYERS” (via http://www.cau.edu/Football_coach_bio.aspx). With the cream of the crop, why couldn’t we get out stats in the black? And according to the ajc, Coach’s overall record was “20-29 … [and] this season… 3-3″ (www.ajc.com/sports/fired-clark-atlanta-coach-157388.html). And it should be noted that one of the games was a forfeit because the guys on the opposing team had swine flu! How dreadful! This is the thing. Men lie. Women lie. Numbers don’t! He had his run, and just couldn’t build a winning team for us. How long should we have given him? If I fail to produce what my employer asks of me, do you think they would keep me around year after year? I think not. Maybe we should trust the judgement of the President and Athletic Director and not be swayed so easily. If the Panthers pull out a winning season with the few games left, will some of you take back these harsh words and allegations? I’m just saying…

BILLY

October 10th, 2009
10:33 pm

TUSKEGEE WILL HAVE PEOPLE IN THE HALL OF FAME.
1.Coach Cleveland L. Abbott-coached 32 years 202-wins 47-lost 27 ties.10-S.I.A.C titles in a row 12 totally.6 black college championship teams,winning 4 in a row.
2.Whitney Van Cleave-3 sport letterman,Coach at Tuskegee,ASU,Albany State,also.
3.Alice Coachman-Olympic gold medal winner in track.
4.Haywood Scissum-my coach at Tuskegee for his use of the wishbone offense in a HBCU.GATE CITY BOWL winner in 1974
BUT TO GIVE RUDY HUBBARD OF FAMU his due…..only BLACK COACH OF A HBCU TO WIN A N.C.A.A.FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IN 1978(D-II)…OR SHALL I SAY THE ONLY ONE I KNOW OF…i stand corrected if incorrect?

Shuflu

October 13th, 2009
9:55 am

I for one am really shocked by the recent firing by CAU of Coach Barhur. I have met this coach, and seen some of the good things that he has done with and for these young men. It appears to me that the only thing some people are only concerned with winning their homecoming game. Keep it real people, I see no reason that this coach should have been fired in the middle of the season, especially given CAU past of ineptness in athletics. I thik that this law suit will shine the light on some issues though it will be costly, and the school can move forward in a positive direction.

Sylvia R. Williams

October 21st, 2009
10:43 am

There are many Historically black colleges not just FAMU and Tennessee State. don’t forget about Albany State

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